After hotel pickup in Auckland, enjoy a morning snack on board the luxury coach during a scenic drive through the North Island’s rolling hills and lush farmland. Listen to your guide’s commentary as you travel through the Waikato and King Country regions, and learn of the colonial history between British settlers and the Maori in Rangariri.
Upon arrival in Waitomo, you’re taken to the noteworthy Waitomo Caves for a guided tour. Descend underground into the limestone caverns to view stunning stalactites formed over centuries. Drift along the Waitomo River during a short boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto, where a breathtaking display of tiny illuminated lights glow in the darkness. Discover the mystery behind the luminescence of thousands of glowworms before enjoying a provided picnic lunch.
Your day trip continues across the Kaimai Ranges toward Rotorua and onward to Matamata, where you’ll visit the Hobbiton Movie Set, a working sheep farm and significant filming location for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings movie series, all of which were filmed throughout New Zealand. Discover how the site was transformed into JRR Tolkien’s The Shire — home of Bilbo Baggins and his fellow hobbits. Have your photo taken in front of a hobbit hole and see the pond, the Mill, the Green Dragon Inn and more.
Your full-day tour ends in Rotorua or with a return to Auckland and drop-off at your hotel.